TASTE OF THE TERRACE: Crawley fans given a rare treat with goal rush against Leyton Orient

Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton
Crawley Town fan Geoff Thornton

For a while on Saturday Crawley Town fans were transported to cloud cuckoo land as the Reds shocked Leyton Orient with three goals in nine minutes.

The transformation following the debacle against Crewe Alexandra was remarkable but we should not get carried away.


It cannot be denied that the O’s were simply awful.


The dreadful goings on behind the scenes have obviously impacted on their players and on this showing their almost certain relegation come May might continue until they reach the Essex Senior League in level nine.


As it was at Grimsby the Reds’ performance was better but it is still very much a work in progress.


If that progress had already been made then the disbelieving fans could reasonably have been looking at a double figure score.


They were naturally satisfied that the primary requirement of obtaining three points had been achieved and accepted that good football and high scoring could come later.


Following a rather disjointed opening quarter Crawley grabbed the crucial first goal and against the hapless visitors that was probably all they needed.


In less than ten minutes it was all over and the lack of further goals simply showed where the work on the training ground needed to be done.


The stiff north easterly wind led to some forgettable football early on and I was beseeching the lads to play it on the deck when they showed me they could do the business in the air.
First, we had confirmation of what we already knew. Give James Collins a scoring chance and he will probably take it.


Second, if Josh Payne takes a free-kick it usually finds its target.


Payne then emphasised his ability with another free kick that allowed Joe McNerney to extend the lead with an exquisite header that left Orient keeper Sam Sergeant without a prayer.


Then a vastly improved Andre Blackman joined in with another pinpoint play that Enzio Boldewijn finished off via the inside of the post.


Later in the match the bustling Rhys Murphy did something no one expected by letting fly from outside the box.


He was just off target but we all took heart from the fact he had had a go.


In the next few minutes Payne and Boldewijn also tried their luck from distance, both going close.


It was just what the fans wanted to see.


Hopefully accuracy from range can be improved by work on the training ground this week and by the time we hit the mud flats of Rodney Parade the Newport County goalkeeper will be shaking in his boots.


A win against the other club in the relegation zone would not only mathematically ensure another League Two campaign for Crawley Town, but would probably mean the Welsh club’s return to the National League.


Another win is absolutely vital and the best way to get it is by getting stuck in and peppering the opposition’s goal.